Man on LSD tries to fly off roof in Petaluma

February 1, 2010 1:51:48 PM PST
A man who believed he could fly after he unwittingly ate food containing LSD fell from the roof of the Phoenix Theater in downtown Petaluma early Sunday morning, police said Monday.

The 19-year-old man fell about 25 feet from an upper roof to a lower roof, Lt. Tim Lyons said. He suffered a broken back and other injuries and was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. Police have not released his name.

Phoenix Theater manager Tom Gaffey said he knows the injured man as Jesse, a regular patron of the theater who hangs out downtown.

Lyons said the man told police he ate some food in the theater, a popular youth venue at 201 Washington St., and also shared food outside. He said he believes someone surreptitiously put "acid" in the food and that he became delusional and thought he could fly, Lyons said.

He was naked and alone when police found him on the lower roof around 5:45 a.m. Sunday after receiving an anonymous call, Lyons said.

The Phoenix Theater's management was called, but it doesn't appear anyone in charge was present when the fall happened, Lyons said. The roof can only be accessed from inside the theater, he said.

Gaffey said there was a memorial dance at the theater Saturday night for a Petaluma teen who died in a skateboarding accident last year.

About 40 people attended the dance and Gaffey said he left around 3 a.m. He Jesse also left the theater but apparently returned at some point, and that a janitor heard someone on the roof, Gaffey said.

"He was lying down when we found him but he jumped right up and was walking around," Gaffey said. "We didn't find any clothes on the roof. He must have gotten naked downtown. We're still trying to piece this together."

The Phoenix Theater is a haven for teens that encourages them to engage in music and performing arts. The theater provides instruction in music and video production in addition to acting as a concert venue.